Eddie the Eagle Movie Review
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If you want to be the best at something, then a good place to start is to be the only person doing that something. In 1988, Eddie Edwards (played by Taron Egerton of Kingsman: The Secret Service) became affectionately know as Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards when he entered the Olympic Games as the United kingdom’s sole ski jumper.
Eddie the Eagle is the true and charming story of how a moderately athletic boy, with a seemingly unattainable dream of being an Olympic athlete, made that dream a reality. After unsuccessfully trying to compete against more naturally gifted athletes in more mainstream sports, Eddie realized that there were a few sports in which the UK was not represented at the Olympics. He set his sights on ski jumping. With the help of Bronson Peary (played by Hugh Jackman), a past his prime, alcoholic, Olympic ski jumper, Eddie takes a crash course in world class ski jumping and overcomes many barriers to achieve his dream of competing in the Olympics.
Eddie’s story became the media’s playground, giving that year’s Olympics a personality that every viewer could relate to, and in some cases his story diverted media attention away from the achievements of other Olympic athletes. While inspiring, Eddie’s ambitious path to the world’s leading athletic competition was not unique. Other Olympic hopefuls, such as Jamaica’s famed bobsled team as depicted in the film Cool Runnings, have already followed a similar path to Olympic fame.
Despite Taron’s remarkable physical transformation into Eddie, which made him almost unrecognizable to fans of his other movies, his performance failed to personify the global interest in Eddie’s rise to Olympic stardom. I never felt fully invested in his success as an athlete. On the same note, Hugh Jackman was not convincing as an uncaring observer who later transforms into Eddie’s coach. A few of the supporting actors gave very strong performances, including Eddie’s parents played by Jo Hartley and Timothy Spall, and a local bar owner played by Iris Berben. They brought emotion to the film and some necessary comic relief. All in all, Eddie the Eagle is an amazing true story of one man’s desires overcoming his physical limitations, but the film falls short of translating the emotions that Eddie was feeling in 1988 to the viewing audience.